3 comments Written on September 28th, 2013     
Filed under: Leadership, Vocation and Call
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Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

Think of this as part 2 of my last post. A ying to its yang.

I recently read a new book by one of my favorite authors, who encouraged me to add a little chaos to my life.

cables.articleTo be honest, I found the suggestion a little insulting, since I, like many of you, find my life to be already too chaotic – the kids have their various activities, the job has its busy seasons, to say nothing of occasionally seeing other people over a food or beverage of choice. But the author wasn’t suggesting that I need to be more chaotic, but that maybe in order to deal with all the busyness of life, I tend to over-structure myself. For him, a life isn’t worth living without some space in it. And I couldn’t help but notice how often Jesus allowed disruption into his routine; on his way to an important appointment with a Jewish leader, he allowed the lowest of the low to stop him and in doing so, provided a beautiful picture of the Kingdom.

The applications of this for a worship pastor almost writes itself.

I’m honestly not very good at disruption. I’m a planner. I’m the guy who always responds to the whole “leave room for the Spirit to work” commentary with “why aren’t you letting the Spirit work in advance?” And to be fair, the Spirit often gets blamed for a whole lot of nonsense that could have been avoided if someone would have just spent a little time practicing their (message / worship set / announcements / etc).

But the flip side of the coin is that we can also get too planned out, too programmatic. In a perfect world (for me) the Spirit would give me the whole of everything ahead of time so I could get used to the idea that X was going to happen. To be honest, this has yet to happen. You know, ever.

The truth of the matter is that we don’t get to have the whole picture written out in front of us ahead of time, and so we need to be flexible and embrace the chaos when it happens. Chaos is, after all, an opportunity for creativity. It’s white space, a place of possibility.

So what might that look like for you this week? What opportunities is the Spirit opening for you that you haven’t noticed? What is God doing in the world around you that are a chance to bring life to those around you, be it family, coworkers, or complete strangers?

This week, let a little chaos into your life.

You might be surprised at what could happen.

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3 comments “Chaos”

A wise mentor once told me, “Interruptions are where true ministry begins.” Yep.

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Interesting thoughts.. which gets me thinking again about the topic. Let’s see where those thoughts go. “CHAOS” is one possible word for how life unfolds, but I’m not convinced it’s the best word to use or even most of the time the right word to use for a lot of the situations we find ourselves in. Of course planning and preperation are important, but I don’t see how even the best of planners can anticipate all the variables of any given situation. Is the cosmos that the one we call creator created chaotic? Is the cosmos that the one we call creator created stringent? Or is the cosmos that the one we call creator created pliable, flexable, moldable, open to true creative activity? We are want to quote the proverb, “The only thing that doesn’t change is change.” (The fact of which drove Greek Philosophy I believe in the direction of trying to eliminate the contingency of life.) We are exhorted to embrace change and that change is good but change is impossible if the cosmos is fixed in such a way as to preclude or exclude what sometime seems to us chaos. I perfer to think in terms of creative variability rather than chaos. Not that chaos can’t happen, but to think that any creature can plan, plan for and control all variables is to subject oneself to a whole boat load of frustration. Plan, practice, rehearse, prepare… and then go with the flow trusting that thier is a creative Spirit at work in that flow… even if the flow seems a bit “chaotic” at times….

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I once heard Erwin McManus give a talk about the book of Ecclesiastes once and he got about halfway through and stopped and said, “I think Solomon was wrong – there ARE new things under the sun!” And proceeded to talk about resurrection, about creativity, about new life. 

I think that when we say “chaos,” we often really mean deep levels of complexity and seeming randomness that feel like they have little connection, as opposed to true chaos, which would imply that anything that looks like connections are actually coincidences. I’m using the more colloquial connotation here. What often feels like chaos to us is really more like craziness or busy-ness or lots of things going in unexpected ways. 

I would never claim that in my best planning that I’d be able to anticipate every variable; far from it. Truth be told, the best planning gets you to a place where you can handle the variables of the unexpected because everything else has contingency. I think that our job is to plan assuming that “chaos” will happen – the complexities of life assure it. We can’t be afraid of it the way the Western Church has been for so long. So when I say embrace it,  I mean that we ought to plan in the Spirit and then make sure that we stay present as the plan is executed and not fall back on the fact that our plan is foolproof, but that it is meant as a guide in the midst of “chaos.” I wonder if our job in the next season is to teach the Church how to embrace the chaos again …

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